The Antiquities Act has been used to preserve some of America’s beloved lands and landmarks but it is facing assault from Trump and Congress
By Kathleen McLaughlin | The Guardian
ne-hundred-eleven years and a few months ago, Theodore Roosevelt signed the landmark law that helped cement his place as America’s conservation president. The Antiquities Act is brief – just two sentences allow a president to set aside for federal protection “objects of historic or scientific interest”.
It’s been used dozens of times by 16 presidents from both parties to preserve some of America’s most beloved wild lands and historic landmarks, laying the foundations for national parks and generations of family adventures. Many national parks – including South Dakota’s Badlands, Alaska’s Kenai Fjords and Nevada’s Death Valley – began as national monuments.
Those lands are now facing a two-headed assault from Congress and the Trump administration, and the act itself faces an uncertain future.